The past few years have been seriously affected by rapidly changing health-related and geopolitical issues such as COVID-19, Brexit, climate change, international conflicts and more. As a result, many people are turning to investments offering higher levels of security and a more reassuring, steady holding of their value and resale potential. Buying gold bars and bullion is one such investment. Gold has an incredibly reassuring track record of remaining stable, even during times when the economy has been more volatile and subject to flux. Even when stocks, shares and property values have plummeted significantly, investing in gold has historically held its own.
Questions to Ask Before Taking the Plunge
Buying gold bars for the very first time can seem daunting. Is it the right decision to take for your individual circumstances? How much money should you be investing in the venture? It is essential to carry out plenty of research before deciding on your final course of action. Gold bars tend to be purchased and then left untouched for long periods of time to act as security for the future. So, it is important that you can afford to set aside your funds in this way without being able to access them easily for shorter-term requirements. Here are five key questions to ask.
1. When Should I Invest in My First Gold Bar?
There is no fixed formula or timeline to start buying gold bars. The short answer to this question is to buy when the time is right for you. As gold prices tend to remain fairly stable, there is no value in reacting to short-term fluctuations if it means rushing to buy before you are ready. Conversely, waiting too long for no reason could become frustrating and counter-productive if you are trying to build up an investment portfolio. Remember that the money used to purchase gold bars could be tied up for a longer-term investment period, so make sure that you can afford to set it aside without compromising your living costs.
2. How Can I Tell What a Good Price for Gold Is?
Some people like to follow the price of gold closely to see what it is being bought and sold for. There are various online resources to enable this. You can ask your gold distributor’s advice too, and seek a second or third opinion to get a better estimate of the costs involved in buying different sizes, weights and fineness levels. Don’t forget that investment gold bought and sold within the UK is tax-free. You may wish to check the most recent rules on inheritance tax if you plan to make your gold bars part of your estate after your death.
3. How Many Gold Bars Should I Buy and What Size Should They Be?
Again, how much, how big and what type of gold bars you buy is all very much down to personal choice. Always choose a trusted seller or distributor and purchase well-known brands to ensure authenticity. Some reputable gold refiners that are well worth considering when investing in gold include:
i. Perth Mint
iii. Baird & Co.
v. Credit Suisse
Check that all certification and marks on the bars themselves match and can be authenticated. Some distributors can offer discounts for buying gold bars in bulk, so it is worth working out how many you can buy at once and how often you plan to add to your portfolio. Smaller weights are easy to transport and store, while larger gold bars are less difficult to inadvertently mislay.
4. How Do I Choose Which Distributor to Buy My Gold Bars From?
It is most important that you feel comfortable with your gold distributor and happy to purchase from them. Again, prior research is very important. Find out how they operate – online, in person or both. What sizes, makes and weights of gold bars do they sell? Do they offer other products, such as gold coins or other precious metals? Are there genuine customer testimonials and reviews available? What commission margins do they operate by and, how do they handle shipping and insurance logistics?
5. How Should I Look After and Protect My New Investment?
Once you have bought your first gold bar, it is your responsibility to keep it safe. Threats include the risk of theft, as well as losing or damaging it. Always keep the accompanying paperwork and certification with the gold bar. Add it to your home insurance policy and ensure that it is kept in a locked safe or equivalent levels of security to avoid rendering any insurance invalid. While you will need to let key people know about it, such as any potential beneficiaries in your Will, don’t talk too loosely or too often about what you have bought and where you are keeping it.